It seems some Americans are peeved, even disappointed, when our homeland security system appears to score a victory, of any kind. Critics are so caught up in rhetoric about civil rights and invasion of privacy that they miss the big picture.
It was not too long ago that officials foiled a plot to invade the military installation at Fort Dix, N.J., kill and injure as many American soldiers as possible and cause tremendous damage to the fort's physical facilities. However they did it, authorities found out about the pending project, made arrests and appeared to have forestalled a tremendous blow by anti-U.S. terrorists.
Just the past week, infiltration of a terrorist cell led to arrests of at least four men who reportedly were planning to ignite fuel lines leading to John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York with the goal of destroying people and property near the airport and causing major devastation at the airport itself. One of the alleged plotters said it shaped up as bigger than the 9/11 terrorist strikes in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania and would symbolically slay the late President John Kennedy all over again.
Yet the news of the disrupted plots at New Jersey and JFK had barely been disseminated to the public before some, including Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, were downgrading the achievement as relatively inconsequential. Their contention was that while there may have been some "serious talk" of hitting the fort and the airport area, the real danger was diminished because munitions and equipment had not been sufficiently assembled to create major disasters. Their main concern seemed to be the "rights" of the plotters.
The point is, "it takes only one."
The 9/11 terrorists proved that tragically after their long planning managed to bypass various signals that could have indicated their intent, because too many people in important posts had failed to "connect the dots" on the evidence.
So along come the Fort Dix and JFK planners. Even though they did not have the hardware to do all the damage they hoped, they had the vicious intent and were seeking the support they needed. Instead of being labeled as alarmists, the people involved in thwarting these ventures should be complimented and supported. Their alertness and reaction is commendable.
It does, indeed, take only one aberration to create new tragedy, but we can be grateful to those in the Fort Dix and JFK cases who prevented at least two probable assaults from becoming reality.
Sadly, we have too many who are so busy politicking they choose to overlook this.